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More than 75 per cent of J&K population favours Article 370 abrogation, says Rajnath

Says talks with Pakistan will resume only after it stops promoting terrorism

By PTI in Patna

  • Published 22.09.19, 4:14 PM
  • Updated 22.09.19, 5:39 PM
Union defence minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh (right) with Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi during the party's public awareness campaign on Article 370, in Patna, Sunday, September 22, 2019.
Union defence minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh (right) with Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi during the party's public awareness campaign on Article 370, in Patna, Sunday, September 22, 2019. PTI

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday warned Pakistan against "repeating the mistakes of 1965 and 1971" even as he asserted that the neighbouring country ran the risk of getting "dismantled" on account of flagrant violation of human rights on its soil.

Addressing the Jan Jagran Sabha, organised by the BJP in Patna, Singh said that Article 370 was like a "canker" which was bleeding the state. Other senior leaders from the party also spoke on the Centre's move to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.

More than three-fourths of Jammu and Kashmir's population was in favour of abrogation of Article 370, he stated.

"The BJP had never softened its stance on Article 370, irrespective of whether it was at the helm or not. Its abrogation has proved that the party is honest and credible," Singh maintained.

The defence minister also cautioned the neighbouring country against promoting cross-border terrorism in the wake of developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Talks with Pakistan will henceforth resume only after it stops promoting terrorism. And the country must keep in mind that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and discussions can only take place about Pak-occupied Kashmir," he added.

Meanwhile, senior BJP office-bearers and Union ministers have been meeting intellectuals and other prominent persons from different walks of life in the national capital to gain support for the Centre's August 5 decision on Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier today, Union minister Amit Shah too reiterated the need to revoke Article 370, while blaming the existence of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir on former prime minister late Jawaharlal Nehru.

"The PoK wouldn't have come into existence had Nehru not declared untimely ceasefire with Pakistan...Sardar Patel should have handled Kashmir, instead of Nehru handling it," Shah said.

The senior BJP leader, addressing a rally in Mumbai, added that there was no unrest in Kashmir and in the coming days, "terrorism will be finished."

With the campaign, the BJP is aiming to reach out to 2,000 prominent personalities from the fields of film, sport and academia among others.

"The campaign is aimed at meeting intellectuals, professionals and achievers in other fields to brief them about the need to abrogate Article 370 and how it will benefit the people of Jammu and Kashmir," said Satish Upadhyay, former Delhi BJP president and in-charge of the campaign in New Delhi.

As part of the public awareness campaign, senior office-bearers and Union ministers are meeting people along with local MPs and other leaders, visiting them at their residences. The recently-launched campaign will conclude after a month.


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